LIVING today in the heart of New York City, a few hundred feet from the subway and Columbia University, is the author of a great religious poetry. His hair is nearly white but his face is peculiarly unlined and his eyes are a sparkling blue. Indifferent to almost every aspect of an apartment-house culture, he simply ignores it, strolling about Morningside Heights with his close friends, aloof, amused and humble. His essential mind moves in a forgotten world where "the old gods listened, lonely in the dew."
This poet, Thomas S. Jones, Jr., of vigorous Welsh lineage, was born in Boonville, New York. He was educated at private schools and at Cornell University where he came under the influence of Dr. Hiram Corson, the distinguished teacher and Browning scholar. There also he developed a profound and lasting interest in the sonnet form, first through Rossetti's House of Life and later through Mrs. Browning, Keats and Wordsworth. After graduating he was for several years on the dramatic staff of the New York Times and with the Reuter Cable Service. The RoseJar appeared in 1906, a little volume of fragile, wistful poems, verging on over-sweetness; often they suggest the clear simplicity of Housman, without the undertone of disillusioned bitterness in The Shropshire Lad. It is noteworthy that The Rose-Jar begins and ends with a sonnet, and contains several others, all written in perfect Petrarachan form, with the octet and sestet completely separated. The Voice in the Silence ( 1911) sounded a deeper note and one that was more distinctly devotional.
Yet it was not until November 1918, the last month of the war, that Jones struck his true vein, when he wrote